I dream of the Realms. It is only Gemma and I now, and Gemma insists on visiting the Temple without me. Not that I mind, the Temple is dreadfully boring aside from all the pretty colored smoke. Gemma takes my hands before she goes and I feel some of her power flow into me. I quickly change my appearance to a dress of chainmail. I do so love to be in control of myself and utterly protected. I bid her goodbye and go in search of my dearest friend.
Wandering about, I make the branches sprout emeralds instead of leaves and admire the sparkling green of them. I reach to pull a jewel from the tree when I feel cool hands cover my eyes, preventing me from seeing though I hold the emerald in my grasp.
"Who's there?" I ask. I move my hands to my face and feel soft flesh. A girl.
"Oh Fee, have I changed that much that you no longer recognize me?"
Pulling the hands away from my eyes, I turn in her embrace and am greeted by the most lovely violet eyes. "Pippa!" I exclaim, gathering her up in a fierce hug. "Darling Pip! Oh, I have missed you!"
She is just as beautiful as I remember her in life. In her dark hair, she's fashioned herself a crown of flowers. Her gown is the color of twilight and it sparkles like the stars. She grins at me and curtsies. I bow and kiss her hand in greeting.
Pippa smiles and giggles at this and it warms me to the core. I quickly use the magic to fashion the emerald I still hold into a pendant necklace. I latch it around Pippa's neck, my fingers graze her collarbone and I try not to shiver. "There. It makes your eyes stand out even more with the contrast."
"It's lovely, Fee." she says and I try not to blush.
We walk around the Realms arm in arm in comfortable silence and for a moment, I imagine eternity like this.
"Where's Gemma?" Pippa asks suddenly, shattering my fantasy.
I try to swallow the jealousy that quickly takes me over. "She's at the Temple. Had some business to take care of. But that doesn't mean we should be miserable without her!" I say, trying to brighten her spirits.
"Right you are," Pippa agrees, "Let's play. It is a frightful bore when you are not here."
And so we play, chasing each other through the meadow as a knight and damsel in distress. We run until we can no longer and then collapse into the cool grass, laughing in delight of such a perfect day. I rest my head on Pippa's stomach, feeling the steady rise and fall of her breathing. I am completely at peace and could stay there forever and never grow bored of it.
Pulling a daisy from the grass, Pippa smiles prettily and starts to pull the petals from the flower. "She loves me," she says with one petal. "She loves me not," she says with another. The petals fall on my face and tickle my nose. I roll away from the attack of petals so that I am lying beside Pippa. I see that only one petal remains.
"She loves me not." Pippa murmurs, a frown crossing her face. She turns on her side, propping her head on her hand, and gazes at me intensely.
"It's only a silly game, Pip." I say, knowing what she's getting at with that violet stare.
Her frown softens and reaches to me and twirls of lock of my blonde hair around her finger. "Good. Because I would positively die if it were true. Tell me it's not true."
I cover the hand playing with my hair with my own. "It's not true." I say.
Pippa grins at me and is a blur. Her lips are on mine, warm as a summer day and sweeter than the juices of a pomegranate. She is mine and I am hers and that is the way of the Realms. I revel in her kisses and savor every moment. I try not to sour it by thinking that it is only possible here, that my dear Pippa is lost to the real world, but I cannot stem the flow of my traitorous conscience. I kiss her once more and then reluctantly pull away.
"I must go. Gemma will be wanting to return to Spence I'm sure." I murmur. Opening my eyes, I look at Pippa, only she is different. She is pale, her hair less shiny, and where violet usually swims in her eyes there is milky white with only a pinprick of black in the center. I do not understand. I recoil in fear, but the girl in Pippa's place is quick and grabs at my wrist, pulling me close.
"You are mine, Felicity. You must never leave me! I shall die without your love!"
The voice is Pippa's and it makes my stomach turn. Pippa leans in to kiss me again, those eyes blankly staring at me with menace, and I glimpse a flash of tiny razor sharp teeth behind her lips before they cover my own. I scream in terror, but I fear it is too late.
"Felicity!" Gemma hisses, shaking me, "Fee, wake up! You're having a nightmare."
My eyes flutter open and I am back at Spence Academy, in my bed. I am drenched in sweat and shaking with cold. I clutch Gemma's hand and she looks at me with worry.
"We must get back to the Realms, Gemma, we must!"
Gemma laughs. "You must be joking. It's the middle of the night and if we go out now , you will catch a death."
"Tomorrow, then." I say desperately.
"Perhaps. But now, you must get back to sleep."
Gemma returns to her own bed and I turn away from her. I cannot sleep for every time I close my eyes I see Pippa, the Pippa in my nightmare. She could not possibly be lost to the Winterlands. I will do everything in my power to save her from the fate. I need her as much as she needs me. And with that simple thought, I slip back into dreams. Dreams of a beautiful girl with indigo eyes and hair the color of shining obsidian.